RPTs WILL NOT RECONSIDER DECISION NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN PAN-ORTHODOX COUNCIL
RIA Novosti, 15 June 2016
The Russian Orthodox Church (RPTs) does not intend to reconsider its decision not to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council and it insists on postponing the date of the conduct of the forum, despite the decision of the synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church to nevertheless send a delegation to the council, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow patriarchate, told RIA Novosti.
"All necessary decisions have already been made," the clergyman declared. He said that a session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will not be conducted in the near future.
Last Monday the RPTs, following a number of other local churches, suggested postponing the Pan-Orthodox Council on Crete scheduled for the second half of June. The bishops of the RPTs expressed concern about the lack "of agreement of Their Beatitudes the primates of all generally recognized local autocephalous Orthodox churches" to participate in the council. In its turn, the organizing committee of the council reported to RIA Novosti that the RPTs decision will have no effect upon its being conducted.
The Constantinople Orthodox Church intends to conduct the Pan-Orthodox Council from 16 to 26 June on Crete, despite the requests of a number of Orthodox churches to postpone the council. The Antioch, Bulgarian, and Georgian Orthodox churches have refused to participate in the council. The Serbian Orthodox Church asked Constantinople to postpone the council for some time, and in the scheduled period to conduct an inter-Orthodox conference for resolution of issues that have arisen.
Subsequently the Serbian church agreed to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council, explaining its decision as the desire "to make its own contribution" in accordance "with the criteria and measures of genuine councils from the history of the Orthodox church." At the same time the synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church requested a reconsideration of the problems of the churches that are absent from the council, and otherwise its delegation may abandon the sessions of the forum, Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus reported in an official letter. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 June 2016)
SERBS WILL ABANDON THE COUNCIL IF PROBLEMS OF ABSENT CHURCHES ARE NOT TAKEN UP
RIA Novosti, 15 June 2016
The Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) is demanding consideration of the problems of the churches that are absent from the council on Crete; otherwise it may abandon the sessions of the council, an official letter of Patriarch of Serbia Irenaeus says.
The head of the SOC begins his appeal with words about the preparation of representatives of the SOC for going to the Pan-Orthodox Council on Crete on 17-26 June 2016. Along with this he notes that the expanded synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church adopted the following decision on Wednesday.
"In view of the magnitude and importance of the council, our church desires . . . to make its contribution so that this Holy and Great Council conforms to the criteria and measures of genuine councils from the history of the Orthodox church and justifies its name. On the other hand, our church demands that the problems and issues not only of the Serbian Orthodox Church but also of those holy churches that have refused to participate in the council be considered at this council. For this reason, the Holy and Great Council should continue until all issues have been considered, and it cannot be a hostage to previously determined procedures. Only with a complete consensus can the council be considered a Holy and Great Council," Patriarch Irenaeus' letter says.
"Our church insists that the gathering on the island of Crete be the beginning of a conciliar process so that the issues presented are resolved during it in a spirit of the conciliar ecumenical tradition of the church of Christ. If the churches that are already present at the council, led by the ecumenical patriarchate, insist on their position that the absent churches are boycotting the work of the council without weighty reasons, and if the attending churches refuse to consider all issues, problems, and disagreements that have been raised, then the representatives of the SOC at the council will be forced, regrettably, to abandon the sessions of this council," the head of the SOC emphasized. . . .
The Pan-Orthodox Council has been in preparation for more than 50 years, and it is intended to be the first gathering of primates and representatives of Orthodox churches of the world in more than 1,000 years. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 June 2016)
METROPOLITAN: PARTICIPATION OF SERBIAN CHURCH IN COUNCIL IMPORTANT FOR WHOLE OF ORTHODOXY
RIA Novosti, 15 June 2016
The participation of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in the Pan-Orthodox Council on Crete is important for the whole of Orthodoxy, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije told the Belgrade newspaper Politika.
According to Politika's information, at a session on Wednesday, the synod of the SOC made the decision that a delegation headed by Patriarch Irenaeus will participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council. The newspaper notes that the SOC already had its representative on Crete, Vladyka Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, who is participating in the work of the commission for preparing the council's message.
"Everyone expects that our church will come to the session and they think that this is the historic role of the Serbian church at a time when a confrontation is again going on between the Hellenic (Greek) and the Slavic churches. Nobody wishes for this, but it has happened at the present moment and it obviously may be used for political purposes. For this reason the arrival of our patriarch and bishops and the participation of our church, which is already present by its participation in the preparation of the text of the message, has exceptional importance not only for our church but for all of Orthodoxy also," Metropolitan Amfilohije declared. . . . (tr. by PDS, posted 15 June 2016)
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